She awakens in the night, the visions from her mind still vivid. The dream was amazingly realistic. A long hallway stretched before her. Several doors lined the hallway, each with a padlock. A ring full of keys weighed heavily in her hand. What did it all mean? Did this hallway symbolize her life? The doors could have meant many things, possibly the choices she faces daily. As she drifts back to sleep, thoughts of the dream cloud her mind. She hopes to remember it in the morning and search for answers.
The description of this woman could match any number of people. Years of research have produced findings that everyone dreams. While not everyone may remember his or her dreams, sleep studies have shown that each person does dream as he or she progresses through the stages of sleep. Whether or not these dreams contain any significant meaning for the dreamer is a source of arguments today, as well as in years past. An in depth study of dream interpretation will reveal the benefits of exploring the meanings behind dreams.
To begin this study, it is helpful to first understand the different aspects of sleep. In Atkinson’s Introduction to Psychology book, she states that sleep contains five stages, including “four depths of sleep and a fifth stage, known as rapid eye movement (REM)” (193). In various sleep studies, most adults go through all stages during their normal sleeping hours. While they drift from one stage of sleep to another, activity in the brain increases and decreases. However, this study is interested mostly in the fifth stage, REM sleep. Individuals incur a great amount of details during the course of any given day, including dates, places, times and people. “During REM sleep, the brain creates a story line that allows this large volume of events to be stored and remembered in a coherent form, albeit at an unconscious level” (Chopra 107). REM occurs at different times throughout an individual’s time asleep, and consumes from thirty minutes up to two hours of an individuals non-waking moments.
Every individual is subject to REM sleep, and some suffer from REM Sleep Disorder. The disorder involves a severe attachment to a person’s dreams. Dotto reports that while sufferers consist mostly of men over fifty years of age, it can affect anyone. She also states that res...
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... Trish and Rob MacGregor present a comprehensive guide on how to incubate, recall and interpret dreams. Additionally, this book provides a glossary of symbols and common dream topics and themes.
Maguire, Jack. Night and Day. New York: Roundtable Press, 1989. Author Jack Maguire
Presents a complete program concerning how to use dreams to reach designated goals
Moss, Robert. Conscious Dreaming. New York: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996. The author
reveals a nine-step plan to understanding dreams, including ways to shape the dreamer’s future. He also details the use of a dream journal to tap into unknown resources.
Parker, Julia. Derek. Complete Book of Dreams. New York: Dorling Kindersly Publishing, 1995.
As the title describes, this book covers a broad spectrum of dream themes, including sample dreams. It also contains a dictionary of common dream symbols and their meanings.
Your Life. “Are Dreams Trying To Tell Us Something?” USA Today Magazine. 18 Oct 1999.
http://search.inspire-indiana.net:8008/WebZ/Fetch This magazine article gives a quick, surface-level guide to dream interpretation.
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